Symbolism vs. effectiveness in helping the environment

“Virtue signaling” is a term that gets knocked around these days. In its defense, it is at least part of a discussion about the importance of virtues – something we could use more of in this era, not less. But the problem with virtue signaling is that it isn’t substantive. It’s frequently just cheap and […]

McKenna on KIRO: Are these initiative titles intentionally misleading?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about two initiatives on this fall’s ballot. Supporters of I-1631, which would impose a carbon tax, are billing it as a “pollution fee.” The campaign for another initiative aimed at preventing soda taxes, I-1634, is calling itself Yes! To Affordable Groceries. Dave Ross: “Does that mean we can retitle […]

Housing: We can build up, build out, or accept astronomical prices

I am frequently confounded by what passes for housing policy in Seattle. City government has lots of ideas on affordable housing and no clue on how to actually make housing more affordable. Or maybe it’s more of a matter of no interest than no clue. The Seattle City Council seems more focused on “affordable housing” […]

It’s about time: Let’s ditch the Daylight Saving switch

If you went solely by social media posts from March and November, you’d conclude that Daylight Saving Time (DST) is massively unpopular. The twice-yearly clock adjustment is particularly irksome to parents of young children – they never get that promised extra hour of sleep in the fall – and anyone who starts their week by […]

Seattle driving away Amazon is not our state’s only economic worry: Water ruling, stifled building damaging our economy, hugely

$6.9 billion in lost economic activity annually. 9,300 jobs and $52 million in employee wages, gone. No, I’m not talking about Amazon’s recent announcement. These staggering figures are the estimate of what it will cost us if legislators and the governor continue to do nothing about fixing the Hirst decision. And while Amazon’s news is extremely worrisome, it directly […]

No fix needed? Evidence of negative Hirst consequences piling up

You can see it as a sign of hope or a futile gesture. Key legislators beat the heat in a cool basement conference room in Olympia this week to restart talks on finding a fix to the unfortunate Hirst water decision. At this point any sign of movement is a good thing. Since talks fell […]

Democrats howl over Hirst, but keep these things in mind

There has been plenty of indignation expressed – some real, some with crocodile tears – since legislators adjourned without passing a construction budget or a fix to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. Much editorial ink has been spilled since then. The Hirst decision reaches a conclusion about growth management law that legislators never intended. […]

Sewage treatment failure – is local government getting the basics right?

Given the Pacific Northwest’s reputation, if you told people around the country that our region’s largest sewage treatment plant is easily paralyzed by large rainfalls – well, they’d probably find that funny. A “catastrophic event” at King County’s West Point sewage treatment plant within Discovery Park last February resulted in “235 million gallons of untreated […]

“Morally repugnant”? No, it’s simply what rural families need

Too many Washington families are caught in a judicial and bureaucratic limbo thanks to the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. The case is about so much more than water – it’s about, as Madilynne Clark of the Washington Policy Center wrote, “two of the most fundamental necessities – homes and livelihoods.” The court’s decision has […]

McKenna on KIRO: Odors that violate your property rights

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a lawsuit by a Marysville man over compost odors. Attorneys for James Moffat alleged that smells from Cedar Grove’s composting facility in Everett interfered with his enjoyment of his property. A Snohomish County jury found in favor of Cedar Grove earlier this month. Dave Ross: “Somebody still […]